Did Jesus "have love"?


I have realised lately that love is like a bicycle. When it stands in the garage, it is a beautiful thing - full of promise and potential. But that does not compare to its glory when it is fulfilling the purpose of its creation. When you go down a steep incline and the wind roars around your ears, your whole body is full of adrenalin, heart pumping, a little sweat on the brow, then you know what a bicycle was created to be.


Love is like that. Because it is God, it is in all of our heart-garages. But unless we take it out for a spin, we never know the glory of love. You can't just take your bicycle and go down that steep incline at fifty kilometres per hour before you have really learnt what it can do and before you have become one with your bicycle.

They say that good drivers experience their vehicles as an extension of their own bodies. When you are really one with your bicycle, you can take the risk and really go down the narrow mountain trails, jump over obstacles and reach high speeds. I have not done that but I have seen these people do it and it is facinating. Just watch next time how they are one with that bike. I did do my fare share of high risk cycling though, although my parents never knew. So I have a fair idea what a thrill you can get from this machine if you are willing to take some risks.


But when it remains in the garage, or you just take it out once in a while to admire its form and shape, or just pedal to the shop and back, you miss so much.


That is why I think, God had to create a world and a life where there is space and opportunity to really take out this bicycle called love and see what it can do. A life without tragedy and agony would just not give us the opportunity to really experience love. You would have been able to admire it in its stationary beauty but we would never be able to discover the glory of compassion, of flooding emotion, of giving forgiveness, of receiving forgiveness, of endurance, of overcoming obstacles, of just the thrill of being on the edge of our own resources and discovering the Resource who lives in us.


The created world, then becomes the showcase, the trail that we take our bikes on and the greater the obstacles and the risk for self, the more we learn what love can really do. Love then becomes a manifestation of God - an incarnation of the Unseen. It is much more than a feeling; it can become a generator of feeling but it is a force, a dynamic movement between entities.


Love, like the bicycle becomes the vehicle. It is not an end in itself, it becomes the vehicle for something to be learnt about God.


We tend to leave love in the garage, take it out from time to time to admire it, talk about it and write about it and put it back. We miss so much.


Now, just before you think you are going to give all your stuff away and give your body to be burnt at the stake for the sake of God, and in that way experience the thrill of real love ... wait!

Paul understood this well and he said, you can do all of that and still have no love. This is a crucial point if you want to talk about love. And if you have no love, all of that will "profit you nothing". You may even move mountains for God through faith and if you do not "have love", you are nothing. You may be able to penetrate and understand all mysteries and have the wisdom that will be applauded, but if you do not "have love", you are nothing.


I think, amongst other things, what he is saying is that we should not confuse outward actions that will generate applause with the real thing. The real thing is the bicycle. You can travel much faster in your car and never feel the thrill of reaching fifty kilometeres per hour on your bicycle. There are good things and then there is the real thing.


And you will only know the difference if you are willing to believe me that there is a bicycle in your garage and that there is a thrill to be experienced. You will have to take it for a spin, suffer the very real consequences of being totally vulnerable and honest and giving and then see what it can do. That is what God did. God made God-self totally vulnerable and risked giving everything to us. And was killed in the process.


Some questions remain: How do we know that the death of Jesus was the real deal?

That is the question. Was it the real deal or another ride in a car? Did he take his bicycle out for a spin or was his death for nothing? And how did his death differ from the death of someone who gave himself to be burnt on the stake but did not do it from love?

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